17.9 C
Hamburg
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Home Freight News Beijing throws its weight behind VGM regulations

Beijing throws its weight behind VGM regulations

China’s Ministry of Transport has issued a directive that effective 1 June 2020, no overweight containers can be loaded on ships in the country’s ports.

The ministry said that as container shipping is increasingly being used to move goods, there is a need to step up safety measures.

Overweight containers have cost the industry over US$6 billion, as reported by Container News earlier this month in the Cargo Integrity Campaign and could cause serious injury to crew and others.

Meanwhile, airlines have slashed flights in response to depressed demand amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, e-commerce sales have increased due to lockdowns and the closure of retail stores in many countries. China, especially, which has many e-retailers, is still seeing healthy demand for the transportation of goods. Its postal services have therefore turned to container shipping as a substitute for air freight.

The transport ministry said, “With the continuous development of China’s economy and society, container transportation has become important for international shipping. Overloaded containers and inaccurate weight declarations occur from time to time, posing a threat to human life and property.”

In addition, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has increased the requirements for container weight verification in the form of international conventions and amendments.

In July 2016, the IMO amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) code which requires all containers that leave from any port worldwide to have a verified gross mass (VGM) before being loaded onto ships.

The principle is that the weights of loaded containers should not exceed the prescribed limits for the slots in which they are stowed. These limits should be set according to stack weight, tier position and the securing arrangement being used.

The UK P&I Club estimates that as many as 20% of transported containers are overweight or mis-declared.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

- Advertisment - LR Sustainability Decarbonisation Digital Adverts

Latest Posts

MSC joins technology and digitalisation maritime group

MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) has joined the Smart Maritime Network, an industry membership group focused on increasing the compatibility, standardisation and harmonisation of the...

US exporters more likely to misdeclare dangerous cargo says NCB

In a recent survey of US export containers the National Cargo Bureau (NCB) found that 38% of containers had misdeclared cargo, according to a...

BoxBay real-life test operations to launch this summer

DP World, the Dubai-based logistics company, has completed the assembly of the world’s first container High Bay Store system (HBS) at Jebel Ali Port. BoxBay...

Seoul mandates comprehensive freight disclosures

South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) has acted to improve the transparency of container freight charges so that shippers will be better...

COSCO to develop blockchain solutions with Alibaba group

China COSCO Shipping Corporation has signed a collaboration agreement with compatriot e-commerce giant Alibaba and the latter’s fintech affiliate, Ant Financial Services Group (formerly...